Frustrated, depressed, angry, sad, envious, embarrassed, and weak. Admittedly, 90% of the time I’m a very positive, happy, see-the-bright-side kind of person. Yet, I would be a phony if I didn’t admit that I have had all of these feelings at one point or another following my microdiscectomy (low back) surgery.
In September, 2006 after trying to avoid surgery for a year, I completely lost feeling in my left foot. My surgeon informed me that if the pressure was not released from the compressed nerve due to a severe herniation, I would have permanent nerve damage. I had no choice. The feeling I had waiting for surgery was the worst. I knew I would never be able to run and do high-impact exercising again!
At my post surgical check-up, I got the news; Eight weeks off. No more running, boot camp style workouts, and hours a day at the gym. Deep breaths. Force a smile. Get a better attitude and come up with a plan. Fine, I can do this. As soon as I was able, I started walking around my neighborhood (in my nightgown and slippers, really!) I went from being in the best shape of my life, to feeling weak, out of shape, and frustrated! It wasn’t just missing the workouts that were making me feel down. It was also attributable to missing running, coupled with the disruption to my daily routine of seeing my peeps at the gym. I didn’t feel like myself mentally or physically. I wanted to explain to everyone why I wasn’t myself, but I hate excuses and besides, this was pretty minor compared to the things that many other people had to deal with. Don’t be a baby.
After three months, I was able to start low impact exercising again. I had gained 15lbs, felt very weak, soft, and mushy. Even though I was not “killing” myself at the gym, I was happy again! I was me! I started doing Slim in 6®, Power 90®, Brazil Butt Lift, and many other low impact exercise DVDs in my basement. In addition, I added an all-natural, 70-ingredient protein shake called Shakeology® to my diet and weight loss plan. I was a renewed, happy, positive woman with more energy and optimism then I’d had in a long time.
I recognize that I have been given this experience to teach others how to better cope. Injury often brings on a wide range of emotions from frustration to depression. I knew it was time to change my thinking. Firstly, your weight does not define you! Secondly, your body fat does not define you. The self-worth that I feel is the result of doing for others, helping. Even if tomorrow I lost my physical health permanently, my life’s purpose has become to help others to live full lives! I try to allow people to see what they are capable of doing to improve their self-worth, and the confidence that emerges when you do that for yourself and help others in the process. Winning is a habit. So develop a new plan. Define yourself by what you do for others, and not by the number on the scale and I promise your major setback will become minor and happiness will be yours to have.